Opening Ceremonies – Now & Future Outlook
Posted by Tom Westley on
Here at Salish Seaside RV Haven we are very excited at how quickly the final touches on the site are drawing together in the wake of our upcoming Grand Opening!
The last few weeks have been productive with the last of the grass going down, tarmac being laid on the north side of the building, and — best of all — the filling of the hole the City of Victoria created at the entrance to the park!
The layout on the south side has been changed slightly, as we decided to add a larger bricked area; it looks awesome! The upstairs is coming along nicely, with light fixtures and plug sockets being installed. A beautiful cedar mantle is being fitted above the fireplace and will really bring the room together.
The stairs are to be tiled in the coming weeks, then flooring will be installed, and a final coat of paint applied just in time for April.
Grand Opening Event
On that note, we're all looking forward to our big official Grand Opening Ceremony on Saturday April 21st! The event will be limited to guests of the RV park, and we expect plenty of great food and dancing. (We do have a few unbooked sites left, so if you aren't currently a guest at Salish Seaside RV Haven and you would like to attend the ceremony, get your booking in before April 21st!)
The Ceremony officially starts at noon with a bit of mingling, followed by a ceremonial opening speech. At 12:45pm we will be graced with a traditional Songhees cultural dance, followed by an Esquimalt cultural dance at 1:10pm. Then we wrap up with a closing speech at 1:30pm, with the event officially winding down around 2-2:30pm.
The Songhees food truck will be on site for the entire event, so take the chance to sample some fantastic treats!
Get To Know Esquimalt
The fun doesn't stop there! Once the Grand Opening Ceremony is over, we'd like to invite you to take the chance to formally explore some of the best Esquimalt BC has to offer. Some of the most fascinating spots for you to explore are:
Esquimalt has a surprisingly varied selection of quality eating spots, from well-loved franchises to locally owned specialties. Drop by Serious Coffee, Vietnam Garden, La Belle Patate, Thai Green Elephant, Papa Ji's Pizza, Le Petit Dakar, Sushi Story, the Cool Creamery, or even pick up a meal from Country Grocer's fantastic deli.
Seven historic walking tours of Esquimalt's oceanfront, parks and neighbourhoods have been developed, allowing the discovery of streets that lead to parks, roads that lead to waterways, and paths that lead to hilltops. The Walking Routes in Esquimalt guide is available at the Esquimalt Branch Library at 1231 Esquimalt Road, or you can download a Township walking tour brochure to explore and enjoy Esquimalt’s history, neighbourhoods and parks. Written by local writer and historian Sherri Robinson.
Saxe Point was designated as park land in 1934. During World War 2, many trees on this 7.5 hectare site were cleared and a searchlight was installed as part of the DND’s shoreline defense. The park provides spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains and Strait of Juan de Fuca. Fine perennial and shrub borders and a large open lawn area overlook the water. Forested trails and beach accesses are set among mature Douglas fir and Grand fir. Walk the trails, explore the beaches, or enjoy the views from one of the many benches or picnic tables.
Macaulay Point began as a Hudson Bay farm, then later became part of Fort Macaulay. It has been managed as a municipal park since 1985. This 7.6 hectare park is popular with birdwatchers, hikers and dog walkers. Native vegetation is mixed with grasses, plantain, and common cat’s ear. A remarkable array of plants has adapted, including roses, lupins, gumweed, wild onions and biscuit roots. At the eastern limit of the park boundary, a small grove of trembling aspens grows. A number of trails and access points lead to views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, as well as former military ramparts. Bunkers, lookouts and defensive berms give the park an historic look.
Macaulay Point park is home to rare and endangered plant species protected under Canada's Species At Risk Act. Visitors and their dogs are required to stay on designated paths to help protect this fragile area.
Art is alive and well at the Esquimalt Branch, which has been part of the Township of Esquimalt since 1969. Local artists are featured on the art wall, and they have two mosaics to enliven the space — Rosemary Murray’s Every Day, Every Street is behind the information desk and Mosaic Garden, created by Rosemary and Geoff Murray, is outside on the concrete column bases in front of the library. The Esquimalt Branch is home to the DigiLab, a tech and craft program designed by teens for teens. The idea was initiated by a group of Esquimalt youth who wanted to develop and lead programs that would see like-minded teens meeting and collaborating while exploring new technologies.
Between art and tech, this busy branch is a hub of inspiration, with books, videos, magazines and more to pique your curiosity and support you on a journey of learning and discovery.
Around April 21st the Esquimalt Branch will be hosting its usual Baby Time on Friday mornings and Family Storytime on Wednesday mornings. On Friday April 20th you can drop by at 2pm for a workshop on origami paper folding, or celebrate Earth Day on Saturday April 21st from 2:30 - 3:30pm with Ready, Set, Grow!
The Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum is located at Naden on Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. The museum's goal is to collect, preserve, interpret and display the history and heritage of the naval presence on Canada’s West Coast, and of the military on Southern Vancouver Island. The museum exhibits focus on four distinct military groups that have made an impact on Canada's history and left a lasting heritage: Canada’s Navy on the West Coast, Canadian Women's Army Corps (CWAC), Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS), and The West Coast Defences.
Admission is by donation: minimum $2 for adults, $1 for seniors/students, and $5 for families. The museum exhibits and displays are open Monday through Friday, from 10:00am - 3:30pm. Guided tours are provided upon request.
The Gorge Waterway Nature House is an educational space operated in partnership with World Fisheries Trust and the Township of Esquimalt. GWAS provides and manages the human resources for the Nature House through volunteers and summer students. The Nature House was designed to be a local community hub of environmental education and link environmental research with public outreach and youth education. The Nature House has attracted thousands of visitors since its opening and its capacity was further maximized after extensive renovations in 2012. Today, the Nature House hosts a Seaquaria Aquarium touch tank full of local marine species, a watershed model of the Gorge Waterway, and numerous interactive educational displays. There is something for everyone at the Nature House!
The Nature House is located in Esquimalt Gorge Park at 1070 Tillicum Road, admission is by donation, and it is wheelchair accessible. During April the Nature House is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00am - 3:00pm.
Township of Esquimalt Parks staff will be coordinating an Earth Day Celebration, working with local schools and community members to help raise awareness about keeping our local parks and urban forests safe and healthy. Activities include invasive species removal, planting, trail building and, again this year, hungry goats will be assisting with weeding out invasive species and having a great meal at the same time.
The Celebration will take place in Highrock Park on Wednesday April 25, from 9:30am to 2:30pm.
The Esquimalt Farmers Market exists to provide a marketplace which serves as a community gathering point that builds relationships, and encourages healthy local living, as well as environmental and economic sustainability. They support local growers and producers and those who engage in environmentally sound, farming practices, and encourage backyard farmers to help nourish their community with quality products. Farmers' Markets go beyond providing healthy food from local suppliers – they stimulate the economy and the neighbourhood. This positive influence adds value to the lives of the existing community members, and encourages visits from people who love the concept of fresh + local, so make sure to have a look!
As the market doesn't switch to outdoors until May, in April you can find it at the Esquimalt Rec Centre (527 Fraser Street) on Thursday April 26th, from 4:30-7:30pm.